Clustered bacteria may be the more dangerous culprit for antibiotic-resistant HAIs

Bacteria that accumulate and form biofilms, rather than single-celled microbes, may be the ones doing the real damage when it comes to antibiotic-resistant hospital-acquired infections, according to new research.

When surgeons make incisions, bacteria that have formed biofilms on the skin can enter the body and result in an increased risk of infection. This could render some antibiotics designed to target single-cell organisms less effective, according to the authors.

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"Bacteria that enter the bloodstream as biofilm are stronger than bacteria that enter the body separately. This is something we have to pay far greater attention to in trying to prevent infections, for example in connection with operations," Thomas Bjarnsholt, MD, PhD, a researcher at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and co-author of the study, said in a statement.

Biofilms are stronger than single-celled bacteria and thus better at nourishing themselves and surviving, according to the research. The authors conclude that approaching defense against bacterial infections from the perspective of preventing bacterial clusters from entering hospital patients could help mitigate the risk of such antibiotic-resistant infections taking hold. 

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